David Ford MLA said: “Our results prove Alliance is growing in strength right across Northern Ireland, from Belfast where we have substantially increased our representation, to Lisburn and even Rowallane. The electorate has shown they are stepping forward to join our progressive and inclusive politics.
“The story of this election is undoubtedly the sight of Long topping the poll in East Belfast – proving the name is seen by people as positive, hard-working and reliable for everyone in the city. The result has shown the predictions of doom and gloom given by the naysayers were wrong and voters want to see a non-tribal approach focusing on the core issues. Alliance will still hold the balance of power in Belfast Council, where we are now the third largest Party.
“But East Belfast is not the only area voters have given their backing to Alliance. I was particularly delighted to see Nuala McAllister elected to the Castle DEA in North Belfast, the first Alliance elected representative in the area for 13 years. It is proof there is a desire to see a society where division is replaced with respect and tolerance, and that people make change when they step forward.”